Tuesday, April 15, 2014

SoL Lessons From My Dad 4.15.14

Slice of Life is a weekly event hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

As teachers, we frequently let parents know that they are their child's first teacher.  As I think back on my own childhood, my dad taught me so much about being a reader, a writer, and speaker.  Wisdom from my dad:

* Use different voices when you read out loud.  It makes the story more interesting, and usually will result in repeated readings.

* Having neat things to write with encourages more writing.  As a kid, I remember him bringing home ball pens that made writing much more interesting.  Today, my daughter benefits from him as she often receives new notebooks, pens and the all important highlighter (the best one being the kind that has little sticky notes you pull from the side).

* Word choice.  My dad always told us to think about how using certain words make us sound.  The words might be cool to say, but what kind of person am I being when I use them?

* More word choice.  Along with the above statement, I was taught the hard way not to say words like "screwed" or "suck".  My dad knew they didn't sound nice, especially coming from a young person.  So I was charged $1 every time I used one.  I learned quickly to stop saying those words!  I won't lie, they do slip out every so often nowadays, but I try to be conscious of my audience.  Usually, it's my husband now :) And my dad wasn't that tough, he did give me the money back once I broke the habit.

* He also taught me grammar.  I still get picked on for starting a sentence with a pronoun instead of the proper noun.  But, I know when to use your vs. you're and its vs. it's.  

* Both my parents took us to the library as kids but it was often my dad reading to us at night.  The library has always been a part of my life thanks to my dad.

I guess it's no wonder I'm a reading specialist today.  Thanks for the lessons, Dad.


  1. What a wonderful tribute. How lucky you were to have a dad who valued the language arts. I love this lesson: "The words might be cool to say, but what kind of person am I being when I use them?" I have a magnet hanging on the fridge that I received from Brenda Power (Choice Literacy) that connects to that lesson. It says "When words are both true and kind, they can change our world." - Buddha

    1. I don't think I appreciated the lesson at the time. Now I look back and see how wise my dad is....

  2. What a wise man your father is. It is great that you and now your daughter benefir from his wisdom.

  3. You are blessed to have a dad whose lessons continue to teach.

  4. This is the nicest post about your wise dad, and his 'wisest' words. I think I would say my grandfather showed me much about word choice, often saying, "there's always a best word, don't settle." I love your ending, too, Michele. It does connect right back, doesn't it? Thanks for sharing these lessons.

  5. Isn't it fun to look back and discover our literary roots? My older sister always read to me and influenced to become a reader. You're lucky to have a dad who taught you word choice, grammar and a love of reading. What a gift!